Pennsylvanians may soon have the opportunity to indulge in recreational cannabis if the proposed bill is passed. The bill, brought forward by Sens. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, and Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, aims to grant legal status to cannabis. Laughlin, in particular, believes that cannabis has essentially been legal since the legalization of medical marijuana in 2015.
He said, "In my opinion, Pennsylvania legalized adult-use cannabis when they legalized the medical program in 2015."
According to Laughlin everyone knows it's easy to get your medical cannabis card, it's a necessary step to take, and with recreational cannabis it will be a step no longer needed, making access to individuals easier.
According to the Independent Fiscal Office, this proposed change could bring in a significant amount of money in tax revenue, ranging from $400 million to over $1 billion annually. Additionally, the bill aims to clear the criminal records of individuals who have committed minor cannabis offenses.
Another key note is that all forms of cannabis consumption will also be legalized, something much needed in the Pennsylvania cannabis industry.
The legalization of recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania promises to usher in a new era of economic growth and social justice. Not only could it potentially generate substantial tax revenue, but it also provides an opportunity to rectify past offenses by expunging minor cannabis-related criminal records.
Furthermore, the inclusion of all forms of cannabis consumption in the bill could result in a more robust and diversified cannabis industry in the state. As the legislative wheels turn, Pennsylvanians watch and wait with bated breath for what could be a transformative moment in their state's history. The Senate will review the Bill when it returns in September.